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Clavicipitaceous entomopathogens: new species in Metarhizium and a new genus Nigelia

Luangsa-ard, J. Jennifer, Mongkolsamrit, Suchada, Thanakitpipattana, Donnaya, Khonsanit, Artit, Tasanathai, Kanoksri, Noisripoom, Wasana, Humber, Richard A.
Mycological progress 2017 v.16 no.4 pp. 369-391
Aschersonia, Balansia, Claviceps, Cordyceps, DNA-directed RNA polymerase, Hypocrella, Lepidoptera, Metarhizium, Paecilomyces, ascospores, entomopathogens, genes, larvae, new genus, new species, perithecia, phylogeny, plant pathogens, ribosomal DNA, scale insects, surveys, tropical forests, Thailand
In several surveys in the tropical forests in Thailand, specimens that looked morphologically similar to Metarhizium martiale and Cordyceps variegata, as well as other Metarhizium species were collected and cultured in vitro. A combined phylogeny of several genes including the small (18S) and large (28S) subunits of the ribosomal DNA, elongation factor 1-α (TEF), RNA polymerase II subunits 1 and 2 (RPB1, RPB2) genes has shown these to be new taxa in the Clavicipitaceae. Nigelia is described as a new genus closely related to Metarhizium, to the scale insect pathogens Aschersonia (Hypocrella), Samuelsia and Moelleriella, and to plant pathogens in Claviceps and Balansia, and other relatives. Nigelia comprises M. martiale and a new species Nigelia aurantiaca, which has been found infecting lepidopteran larvae and which produces pseudoimmersed, obliquely arranged, obpyriform perithecia with curved or bent ostioles and with whole (non-separating) cylindric ascospores. Metarhizium chaiyaphumense, M. kalasinense, M. prachinense, M. samlanense, and M. takense are described as new species of Metarhizium. Metarhizium martiale is transferred to Nigelia, and Paecilomyces reniformis is transferred to Metarhizium.